The Best Activities & Events for Families During Cherry Blossom Season


We’re about to hit one of the best times of the year in DC: Cherry Blossom Season! Not only is the city at its prettiest when the famous flowers are in bloom, there are also loads of special events and activities to celebrate it. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 18 – April 16 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching opportunities over several weeks, plus there are some blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. Here are the best of them for families to help plan for a peak experience. Happy Blossom Season!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. And view scenes from blooms past here, here and here.

PIXELBLOOM: Timeless Butterflies
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through June 5
Admission: $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family of 4

The exhibits at ARTECHOUSE often reflect the season in some way, and for the sixth year, they are highlighting spring by celebrating the cherry blossoms with a gorgeous digital exhibit that immerses you in blooms and butterflies. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and delightful to experience! Get more of a glimpse of it here.

Help a Wishing Tree Grow
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: March 20 – April 16
Admission: Free, but passes required

During the cherry blossom season, Planet Word invites guests to help build a Wishing Tree. They can select a poem from a collection of poetry, write it on a slip of paper, and place it inside an origami paper petal ‘pocket’ that is adhered to the branches of the museum’s cherry blossom tree. At the end of the festival, the petals will be passed on to visitors in the museum as a symbol of friendship. Note that (free) passes are required for admission to the museum. Read more about Planet Word in this KFDC post.

Petal Porches
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Through April 16
Admission: Free

This newer tradition invites residents in DC and surrounding communities in MD and VA to decorate their front yards, porches, and windows to show their cherry blossom spirit during the Festival’s run. A digital map with the locations of all registered Petal Porches will be made available, so we can all get in on the fun and do some Petal Porch viewing!

A past petal “porch” on Capitol Hill

Art in Bloom
Where: Around DC
When: Through April 16
Admission: Free

View blossom inspired art all around the city! The Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures scattered in all eight wards last year will be back in permanent locations. Find a map of them here and make it a mission to see all of them during the season!

Cherry Blossom Programming for Children
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Select dates in March (see below)
Admission: $15

This spring, curiosity is in full bloom at National Children’s Museum. In celebration of the season and peak bloom, families can join the museum for the some STEAM programs inspired by the natural world. March 23 & 30: Blossom-themed STEAM Story Times. March 24: Baby Jam. March 26: Helicopter seeds launcher design and build challenge using recycled materials to learn about the aerodynamics of seed dispersal under the Museum’s main entrance awnings (free) + Haiku exploration and experimentation pop-up (included in Museum admission). Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: Select dates during peak bloom
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the cherry blossom peak, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area at a new location on West Basin Drive SW (between the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials and near the Japanese Pagoda).  The National Park Service will offer Ranger talks, Bloomin’ Junior Ranger activities, and more.  The daily live performances on the ANA stage presented by All Nippon Airways will take place 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and showcase a cross-cultural mix of American, Japanese and other performing arts celebrating 110 years since the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. A full list of performers and performance schedules can be viewed here. 

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 25, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Join SAAM for their annual celebration of spring and the blooming trees of DC. Enjoy taiko drumming and traditional Japanese dance performances, and break out your best Japanese pop dance moves with Les the DJ. Craft your own cherry blossom trees to take home, make a kinobori kite to fly at the kite festival, or try your hand at an origami Sakura. And ascavenger hunt will add some extra fun to explore the galleries with a scavenger hunt and enjoy festive. Register in advance. See more about the museum in this KFDC post. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Wizards Cherry Blossom Night
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 24, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Whoop it up at a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game! See the Wizards take on the Spurs as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Purchase tickets through this link to get a cherry blossom bucket hat.

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossoms and enjoy some outdoor recreation on a paddling excursion. Several boathouses will open during cherry blossom season, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Basin, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC.

Go fly a kite on the National Mall!

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 26, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival, a favorite for many during the blossom season, will be back!  And the sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so plan to BYO. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics. Note the date change from March 25 to March 26!

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 1

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, join the museum for kid’s films, create a floral collage, and make a custom-designed cherry blossom screenprint with local printmakers Soul and Ink. Then, enjoy pop-up musical performances and venture over to the Sculpture Garden for a tour of outdoor art installations.

Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 1, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, a free spring extravaganza featuring a full day of cherry-blossom themed art, music, fireworks, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! Enjoy beer gardens on District pier, s’mores at the firepit, and live music. It’ll all be capped it all off with a blossom fireworks finale.

Pink in the Pool
Where: Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness | Arlington, VA
When: April 1, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate cherry blossom season at National Landing with morning activities for families.  Starting with Pink in the Pool, jump into a splash of pink at the Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Center. Families are invited to take a free swim and toss around pink beach balls. After a dip in the pool, continue the fun with kite and origami making, face painting, giveaways, sweet treats from Kona Ice, and tons of pink.  Free pool passes are required — reserve them here.

Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: April 2 | 1pm, 1:30pm, & 2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with this free event at Frying Pan Farm Park. Trek on their nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Along the way, visit stations that are peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, discuss woodland creatures, and search for critters in the soil and water. Plan to enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House, too! Recommended for ages 5+.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 1-2, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at the Mosaic District with a celebratory weekend featuring fun for all ages. Shop at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, sip on a cocktail while you stroll, and more!

Cherry Blossom Celebration Match
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: April 2, 7:45pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Support local sports and be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival at once! DC United’s home match against Atlanta United will include cherry blossom-themed activations for fans, including cherry blossom sunglasses for the first 5k fans, along with the action on the pitch. Score tickets here.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 1, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun especially for kids to celebrate cherry blossom season.  All ages can learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Books related to Japan and Japanese culture will also be on display.Other activities include Kamishibai (Japanese storytelling), hands-on origami lessonsJapanese calligraphy, decorative Koinobori and Japanese woodblock print coloring, tiara making with cherry blossom princesses, Kimono trial, and more. Register here! And read more about the Library of Congress in his KFDC post.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Run, MD
When: April 2, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature cultural activities, including a Japanese market, art, music and dance performances, culinary delights, and much more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.


Racing Presidents sightings at the Cherry Blossom Parade

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 15, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 15-16, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10-15/ages 13+, $50/family package, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The 61st annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. And once again, it will be held over two days!  PS: Note that the family package for $50 includes 2 one-day entry tickets  (kids 12 & under are free), 2 kids T-shirts , 2 Omen masks for kids, and 2 Japanese Snacks .

Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 16, 5-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! The final big event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a blast, with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Go for awhile or just stop by for a bit. The evening will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.


Which events are you looking forward to this cherry blossom season?


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Five Things: March 15, 2023


1. The newest exhibition at ARTECHOUSE is a delightful and mesmerizing celebration of spring!  PIXELBLOOM: Timeless Butterflies features vivid projections of flowers and the flitting insects on the walls and floors of the main gallery room. You can sit on a bench (or right on the floor) and immerse in the dazzling scenery or roam around and play — interactive elements, including beautiful displays that swirl, grow, even chime with your movement are in other areas.  There are also neat augmented reality ops.  Both kids and adults will be enchanted.  Timed-entry tickets are available for 10am – 9pm daily.  Admission is $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack — and you can find a discount here.


2. Looking for enrichment activities for kids? Aristocrafts, a company started by two local moms, will begin offering classes for ages 5-11 at The Palisades Hub this weekend! Their Arts and Crafts Workshops will take place on Saturdays from 9:30-11am, March 18 – April 8. Students will make beautiful creations featuring macramé, block printing, wool felting, clay molding, plaster casting, and much more.  Their Lego© Club will also be held on Saturdays, March 18 – April 8 — sign up for morning from 11am – 12pm or afternoon from 3:30-4:30pm. Posing challenging and exciting activities for your little builders, the classes are based on challenges and STEM experiments with a different project every class for tremendous fun, with classes designed to let children develop their creativity through hands-on activities.


3. Registration for DC Department of Parks and Rec (DPR) summer camps is by lottery this year, and it just opened a couple of days ago.  Four, two-week sessions will run from June 26 – August 18 at locations all around the city.  There are a variety of options for kids ages 3 – 13 starting at just $80 per session.  The lottery will be open through April 5, and results will be out on April 18.  More info is available on the website — be sure to read all details.  These camps are only open to DC residents.


4. Wirecutter says this scooter is the best one for kids. (Comes in a foldable version, too!)


5. A flavor for the new season, and I don’t mean spring. 🙂



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Percy Jackson-Inspired Summer Adventures at Camp Half-Blood & Camp Jupiter



Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter are summer camp experiences unlike any other. Inspired by the “summer camp for young demigod heroes” in the Percy Jackson book series, the award-winning programs aim to bring the exciting adventures of literature to life for kids. From June 26 – August 18, they will be offered for seven, week-long sessions to rising 2nd – 9th graders right in Rock Creek Park!

Campers have the opportunity to learn about and explore the ancient myths and legends of different cultures around the world. From the story of Zeus and the gods of Olympus, to the tales of Eastern deities, and the myths of the Native American tribes, your child will be transported to a world of adventure and imagination.

On a typical day, campers will solve ancient riddles, play tabletop roleplaying games, take a break for a snack, and then battle an army of monsters wearing their custom-crafted armor. Experienced and knowledgeable counselors lead campers on a journey through the myths and help them discover the lessons and values that these stories have to offer.

Founded in Brooklyn in 2010, Camp Half-Blood has since expanded to multiple states, with programs in 13 locations and online. This is the fifth summer it is being offered locally in Rock Creek Park. Cost is $525 per week, and families may register for as many weeks as they like.

There is a special running right now: Register for two weeks before April 1, and receive a 50% discount on the third week!

Visit the website for more information and registration for Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter. Or to book a one-on-one call with a member of their team, email


This post is sponsored by Plato Learning LLC, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2023, Camp, DC, Gradeschoolers, Middle Schoolers, Summer

DC Scavenger: Discover the Tidal Basin with These Fun Clues!


Spring is just around the corner, and here in DC, that means the beautiful cherry trees that have come to symbolize our nation’s capital are about to be in full bloom! There’s no better time to wander around the Tidal Basin and experience the blossoms’ stunning glory at its peak.

In this third guest blog post of her DC Scavenger series, local author JoAnn Hill takes us on an active pursuit throughout the Tidal Basin. This highly visited area is mostly known for its majestic memorials, including the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and FDR Memorial. Each year, it also famously hosts the world-renowned Cherry Blossom Festival, a springtime staple and cherished celebration of beauty and nature. Along your scavenger hunt adventure, explore the Tidal Basin’s most cherished sites while surrounded by the abundant bursts of pink and white blossoms.

JoAnn Hill is the author of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure and DC Scavenger, which goes beyond the typical guidebook; it’s an interactive treasure map spanning 17 distinct neighborhoods throughout the District. If you think you know everything there is to know about DC ― even the most weird, wonderful, and obscure parts of it ― get ready to embark on an adventurous discovery of DC’s most treasured gems.

Below are four of 15 clues featured in the Tidal Basin chapter of DC Scavenger. (Note that the photos show the general location, not the answer to the clue!)  Check out JoAnn’s book to solve and discover even more clues and sites around the Tidal Basin and throughout the entire city!


Tidal Basin Clue #1
First memorial here’s for Tommy J
Three’s the magic number, please don’t stray
In his left hand, this declared us free,
Nineteen feet tall, the third prez stands strongly.


Tidal Basin Clue #2
Follow the path to this Japanese gift
Assembling it was a heavy lift.
It came in five crates, no clues to its shape
Near FDR, a fixture of this landscape.


Tidal Basin Clue #3
The First Lady next to this UN seal
Her husband laid down the promised New Deal
Including a First Lady is quite unique
She was smart and bold, opposite of meek.


Tidal Basin Clue #4
Stroll over to this memorial king,
There are four to solve, so do your thing!
Greatest civil rights leader of the land
Look for this scroll for the clue at hand.

* * *


JoAnnHill, author of DC Scavenger and Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, has affectionately called Washington, DC, home for over 20 years. She has written extensively about DC living, its food, and her world travels on her blog and other mediums and publications. Through her writing and research, she shares stories and tips that inspire the insatiably curious traveler. When she’s not writing and exploring, you will find her teaching yoga, barre, and group fitness classes, indulging in DC’s culinary and theater scenes, and spending as much time outside as possible being active. JoAnn is the co-founder of Capitol Teachers, a full-service tutoring company servicing the greater DC area. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Thalamus and dog Jackson.







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The Weekend Round-Up:
March 10-12

Prehistoric sea monsters star in a special museum program on Saturday


Happy Weekend!

Quick links to ideas for ongoing fun:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* The Great Indoors
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Ice Skating
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Intersections Family Fun Day
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This third weekend of the annual Intersections Festival at the Atlas includes a morning especially for kids and families. Bring the whole gang for youth-oriented shows and activities. The lobby will be filled with music, performances, an instrument petting zoo, and a creation station offering crafts and coloring for kids and their grown-up friends. And you can catch Imagination Stage’s production of Aquarium all weekend, too (tickets $15)!

NSO in Your Neighborhood
Where: Several DC neighborhoods
When: Through March 13
Admission: Free

In this annual program, the National Symphony Orchestra musicians have been performing free concerts in Brentwood, Brookland, Eckington, Fort Lincoln, Trinidad, University Heights, and Woodridge.  This weekend see them at the Basilica of the National Shrine, Turkey Thicket Rec Center, Busboys and Poets,Bookland Arts Walk, Bluebird Sky yoga and more local venues — with pre-concert festivities at some of them. See details here.  All are open to the public with first-come, first-served seating.

Prehistoric Sea Monsters
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:45am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In this month’s session of the museum’s The World & Me program, learn more about your place in the world through explorations of nature and culture. Families will explore the discovery of mosasaurs, sharks and fish fossils in Angola, Africa. After a book reading of Tylosaurus by Gerry Bailey, sift for and identify fossils to learn more about how paleontologists make discoveries about animals that lived long ago and are no longer alive today. Recommended for children aged 3-8. Be sure to register in advance.

Oscars Prep
Where: Movie theaters around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by theater
With the Oscars happening this weekend (plus chance of rain in the forecast), it’s a perfect time to catch a flick, either to see a nominated film or get in the spirit of it all by seeing something new. The Alamo is a great place to go for a movie and a meal. Or see what’s playing at other theaters around the area.

Saturday Morning Live! At The National
Where: The National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11am
Admission: Free
Fun takes center stage at the National Theatre for Saturday Morning Live! Join us Saturday mornings for wow-inspiring children’s entertainment of all sorts. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment with  We Can Do It: American Women In History. This is the perfect show to inform and inspire audiences – girls and boys alike! An incredible adventure featuring some of the world’s most remarkable female pioneers, your audience will discover incredible and groundbreaking women like Amelia Earhardt, Sacajawea, Susan B. Anthony and more!

Maker Morning: Bloom Your Way
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am -1pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring at the Hirshhorn! Join a Maker Morning: Bloom Your Way session to welcome the new season through art making. Hands-on maker stations throughout the Museum include felt garden play, nature library, wearable nature-art, organic shape play, and more. Kids and adults are welcome to enjoy it all!

Creativity is Magic: Maya Lin Festival
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Join this all-ages festival to celebrate Women’s History Month and the life and work of Maya Lin. Known best as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the architect, sculptor, and environmentalist creates work that meets at the intersection of art and environmentalism. At the festival, you can tour the museum’s One Life: Maya Lin exhibition, participate in Lin’s multi-site memorial “What is Missing?”, take part in workshops, and create art inspired by her designs. Read more about the museum here and here.

PIXELBLOOM: Timeless Butterflies
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Opens Saturday – June 11
Admission: $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack
The exhibits at ARTECHOUSE often reflect the season in some way, and they’re highlighting spring by celebrating the cherry blossoms with a gorgeous digital exhibit that immerses you in the blooms and a butterfly world. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements are sure to make this one beautiful, engaging, and fun to experience.

Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Vary by activity

This multi-day, live, immersive experience celebrates and recognizes the exceptional cultural contributions of Black women artists, thought leaders, and creatives. The festival’s headlining feature is the Black Girls Rock Concert boasting a lineup of Black women artists Alice Smith, Estelle, and Jade Novah. There will also be a more live performances, a late-night music and DJ series, and a film screening. Find more details along with the full schedule of events on the website.

The Hula Hoopin’ Queen
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through April 8
Admission: $12-39 (look for discount)

On the Imagination Stage this weekend… Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street in Harlem. But she has to prepare for Miz Adeline’s birthday party, and almost ruins the day. Until Miz Adeline confesses that she’s also got the itch–the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street.

Beauty and the Beast
Where: Synetic Theater | Rosslyn, VA
When:Through April 3
Admission: $35-65

This fresh adaptation is a sparkling and inspiring Gothic romance full of wonder, mystery and redemption expressed through Synetic’s unique stage effects, expressionistic design, puppetry and movement. No sing-alongs or talking teacups from Disney’s animated film in this piece of theater art. Though just as magnificent, this show’s got bite. Note that this production of Beauty and the Beast contains fantasy violence and may be scary to younger children.

Sleeping Beauty on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Fridays, 10:30am | Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: $15
In the Puppet Co.’s version of Sleeping Beauty, a funny frog storyteller ribbits the tale of offended fairies, silly royalty, and magic spells. Relive this classic fairy tale in this lovely Legacy rod-puppet show. Directed by Elizabeth Dapo. Recommended ages 4+. Run time approximately 45 minutes.

Fitting In
Where: Theatre on the Run | Alexandria, VA
When: Through March 26
Admission: $10

Arts on the Horizon presents this show for littles… Three siblings find themselves in a room full of possibilities and one not so simple task- to put things in their proper place. However, they soon discover that throwing this and that into a box is not the same as finding where it fits in. Through clowning, movement, and original music, three performers will transform everyday objects into something extraordinary. Is a blanket a blanket? Or is it the sail of a boat setting off on an epic voyage? Together, we can find the magic buried in the bottom of every box, and hidden inside the world around us! Recommended for ages 2-5.

What Makes a Winner
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through March 12
Admission: $15/adult, $12/child

Join Encore Stage & Studio for this updated retelling of the famous Tortoise and the Hare and other classic fables… What happens after the Tortoise beats the Hare in the race? Join Encore Stage & Studio for a new spin on the classic story in its world premiere of What Makes a Winner written by Lynne Childress. When Terri the Turtle and Ray the Rabbit become co-captains on a new racing team, Ray comes to find that he’s got a lot to learn about the true meaning of friendship. This unlikely duo meet all kinds of woodland creatures in their journey to make the perfect team. Together they learn that the most rewarding med

The Mortification of Fovea Munson
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: Through March 19
Admission: $20

Mary Winn Heider brings her uproarious book to musical life in this world premiere Kennedy Center commission. Fovea Munson is stuck working at her parents’ cadaver lab, but she is by no means Dr. Frankenstein’s snuffling assistant, Igor! That is, until three disembodied heads start talking. To her. Out loud. And they need a favor. March 18 at 11am is a sensory-friendly performance. Recommended for ages 10+.

Into the Woods
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through March 19
Admission: $35-159 (look for discount)

Here’s a reason to be happy ever after…  Into the Woods just opened at the Kennedy Center, and this production is recommended for ages 4 and up.   Bring the whole family for a show that got rave reviews on Broadway! And FYI: $35 Rush tickets will be available for every performance beginning each performance day at 5pm at the Kennedy Center Box Office, except matinee performances when Rush tickets will go on-sale at 12pm. Tickets are subject to availability and have no guaranteed location. Two tickets max per person.

Celebrate Women’s History
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
March is Women’s History Month, and there are so many great ways to celebrate it around DC, with something for all ages. See some exhibits, tour local landmarks, enjoy live entertainment, attend a festival… all of it showcasing women and their accomplishments. This post has details on where you can do that over the next month — and beyond!

Carpe Librum
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Shop a mobile bookstore on Saturday.  Browse through thousands of books all under $6 in a nice, outdoor setting.  There’s something for everyone — children’s books, teen reads, brand-new bestsellers in amazing condition, classic vintage hardbacks, and more.  Look for it in the southern block of the park. While you’re in the area, grab a bite to eat at one of the many nearby eateries and enjoy some time by the river right across M Street at The Yards.

Wonderful World of Watkins
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park – there is so much fun to be had at the PG County locale.  Visit the Old Maryland Farm to see the animals, and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds.  The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have kiddos frolicking for hours. Trails winding through the woods make for nice hikes, too!

Soar Together at Air and Space Family Day: Messages in the Sky
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

You may already be familiar with a banner pulled by an airplane, advertising a beachside restaurant. But what are the other ways aircraft are used to deliver messages in the sky? Explore this topic at this month’s Soar Together at Air and Space Family Day!

Baba Bomani: The ABC’s of Rap!
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free
Join InterAct Story Theatre for a new installment of their Wheaton Family Theatre Series with FREE performances and events for kids and families. Get ready to move and explore with this month’s Family Arts Workshop! There will be two programs at Highland Elementary School, 3100 Medway Street, 20902: Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. All programs are free and open to the public!

DC United vs. Orland City
Where: Audi Field | southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $27

Check out some soccer action on Saturday evening. DC United is hosting Orlando City SC at home. As always, I recommend taking public transportation or parking in the Navy Yard neighborhood and walking to Audi Field from there. Plan for a pre-match bite — El Bebe, All Purpose Pizza, The Salt Line, and Dacha are conveniently located and my top recs for family-friendly spots to eat there. Purchase match tickets here.

Clean City the DC Way
Where: Tyler Elementary School Area | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

DC Way does more than teach soccer — they also do good in the community! The organization is part of an environmental project, where they clean four blocks in the Capitol Hill area surrounding Tyler Elementary School. Volunteers are needed to help us with the clean-up, and all are welcome to join!  Register in advance.

Nowruz Family Day
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the Persian New Year at the museum’s annual Nowruz Family Day. Welcome spring with free attractions for all ages, including storytelling, hands-on fun, and more.  There will be crafts and other activities, interactive storytelling, gallery tours, Persian food vailable for purchase, and featured exhibitions Journey of ColorEngaging the Senses, and Feast Your Eyes.

Later, Skaters
Where: Ice rinks around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

This is the last weekend to hit the ice al fresco at most local outdoor ice skating rinks, as many are getting ready to shut down their Zambonis for the season. See this post listing them all for details on where you can glide under the sky one last time this winter.

Take a Swing
Where: Parks in Northern Virginia
When: Throughout the weekend

Batter up! And tee up! Batting cages and mini golf courses are opening at several NoVa Parks. At Cameron RunUpton Hill, and Occoquan Regional Parks, choose slow pitch softball, or take a crack at baseballs featuring a variety of tough speeds.  And you can putt around at Cameron RunUpton HillPohick Bay, and Algonkian Regional Parks.

Roam Free
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens | Georgetown, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

This weekend is the last chance until the fall to take advantage of free admission to Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. From November through mid-March, there is no fee to roam the beautiful grounds.  (One of my favorite KFDC Tips to impart because it’s one of my favorite places in DC!) Stroll among the many plats, find lovely tucked away places to sit, and enjoy a delightful, relaxing wander around a peaceful place. Hours are limited, but you can make a longer day of it with play time at Montrose Park next door, a hike in Dumbarton Oaks Park right behind the the garden, and/or a bite to eat at one of the many options in Georgetown. This KFDC post about Dumbarton also has some nearby food recs.

Bloom Town: Magnolias
Where: A couple of DC locations
When: Through the warm months
Admission: Mostly free

Saucer magnolias are now blooming, and they’re sensational in some areas! One of the best places to see them is the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle, and you can plan on museum visits, too. There is also a gorgeous display of  blooming magnolia trees at Indiana Plaza, at the corner of 7th Street, Pennsylvania, and Indiana Ave. — plus, picnic tables with swing seats and nearby places to get a good bite (or bring back to the tables) make it worth the stop.  And for more about upcoming local blooms, see this post — it was created a few years ago, but it’s updated every year to reflect new dates for festivals and any other pertinent info.

Off-the-Mall Museums
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

Take kids to one of the many great museums for kids off the well trodden path of the National Mall. If you don’t veer from it now and then, you could miss out on some amazing exhibits and experiences that aren’t as well known. Check out this round-up of some places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

Starry Night Online Auction
Where: Ross Elementary School Online & In Person
When: Through March 18
Silent bidding is open for the 2023 Ross Elementary School “Starry Night” Auction! You now can bid on nearly 200 items and experiences, including an incredible baseball package; a pair of tickets to a New York Fashion Week show; a Specialized kid’s bike; theater, museum and sports tickets; and dozens of restaurant, health & beauty, and other gift certificates … and so much more. The auction is only two weeks away! You can also bid in person on March 18, 2023, from 6-10pm at Toolbox Pilates Art Studio. (Event open to adults only.) Select items will only be available for in-person bidding, during the live auction portion of the event. Start bidding, buy your tickets, consider being a sponsor – and there’s still time to donate an item or experience! Bidding closes on the evening of March 18.

* In case you haven’t seen it, there’s a new post about upcoming openings for kids around the area.
* Washington Spirit’s home opener is March 26 at Audi Field, and tickets are now on sale.
* Enjoyed a eally good Mexican-inspired dinner at Paraiso last weekend.
* Recipes inspired by Oscar nominees.
* Loved so many movies last year, but I think this one deserves Best Picture. (Also highly recommend The FabelmansTriangle of SadnessThe Banshees of Inisherin, and Decision to Leave.)
* Guide to Eternal Youth 🙂

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Filed under 2023, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter